Tell the Senate: Don't let a SOPA lobbyist negotiate our trade deals.
It's already bad enough that the Obama administration is pushing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) -- a corporate power grab disguised as a "trade" agreement.
Making matters worse, President Obama recently nominated Robert Holleyman, a former lobbyist who was a key backer of a bill that would have ended the internet as we know it (the Stop Online Piracy Act, more commonly called "SOPA"), to be deputy US trade representative.1
If confirmed by the Senate, Holleyman will play a key role in negotiating the TPP and other “trade” deals.
Giant corporations already have far too much influence over our trade policy. The confirmation of Robert Holleyman would only stack the deck further in favor of corporate interests.
Tell the Senate: Don’t let a SOPA lobbyist negotiate our trade deals.
SOPA was a terrible bill pushed by giant American media content companies and copyright holders that, in the name of halting online piracy, would have curtailed our free speech rights and raised the prospect of jail time for someone uploading a video to YouTube.
It looked like it was on course to easily pass into law, but after a truly massive amount of grassroots pressure it was dropped like a hot potato.
While the TPP negotiations are happening in secret, we do know thanks to a recently leaked draft “intellectual property” chapter that SOPA-like provisions have made their way into the document.
These provisions would grant unprecedented snooping and censorship powers to ISPs, copyright holders, and governments.
Indeed, the TPP has many bad intellectual property provisions that the Electronic Frontier Foundation called the leaked chapter an “anti-user wish list of industry-friendly policies."2
If the Senate is serious about protecting internet freedom and the rights of internet users, it won’t support the nomination of someone so clearly opposed to these principles.
Tell the Senate: Don’t confirm Robert Holleyman.
This fight isn’t just about the TPP. Even if we stop the TPP, Holleyman’s confirmation would put him in a position to inject corporate-friendly, anti-internet user, anti-consumer policies into any other “trade” deals negotiated by the United States.
We need to make sure the Senate knows that we expect them to take a stand for internet freedom and reject the nomination of Robert Holleyman.
1 "Obama Nominates SOPA Lobbyist for TPP Trade Post," Republic Report, Feb. 27, 2014
2 "TPP Leak Confirms the Worst: US Negotiators Still Trying to Trade Away Internet Freedoms," Electronic Frontier Foundation, Nov. 13, 2013.